[OPE-L:1711] Re: value-form theories and the Uno-school?

Subject: [OPE-L:1711] Re: value-form theories and the Uno-school?
From: Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Date: Mon Nov 22 1999 - 07:50:43 EST

Re Paul C's [OPE-L:1710]:

> On the other hand we will never understand capitalism unless we approach
> it from the standpoint of the future communism.

I think it is idealist to assert that the way we can understand today is
by comparing it to some ideal standard which has never existed in

> It is only this which enabled
> marx to transcend the historically specific and partial presentations put
> forward by the political ecnomists.

Certainly, his theory was developed in the context of his being a
revolutionary socialist - a communist. Yet, there were others socialists
and anarchists of his time and before who had a "vision" of communism who
were not able to develop an understanding of capitalism.

> It strikes me that the value form theorists, with their
> fixation on capitalism and its surface appearances are again producing the
> sort of historically limited presentation that he was attacking.

Before one can understand the future in heaven, one must first
understand life on earth today (and beforehand).

Moreover, a certain "fixation" with capital has its advantages. Not only
is it necessary to comprehend "modern society", but it also is important
from a revolutionary perspective: "Know thy enemy".

In solidarity, Jerry

PS: I am reminded of a poem.

                           *Know thy enemy*

                           Christopher Logue

              Know thy enemy:
              he does not care what colour you are
              provided you work for him
                *and yet you do!*

              he does not care how much you earn
              provided you earn more for him
                *and yet you do!*

              he does not care who lives in the room at the top
              provided he owns the building
                *and yet you strive!*

              he will let you write against him
              provided you do not act against him
                *and yet you write!*

              he sings the praises of humanity
              but knows machines cost more than men.
              Bargain with him, he laughs, and beats you at it;
              challenge him, and he kills.
              Sooner than loose the things he owns
              he will destroy the world.
              SMASH CAPITAL NOW!

                *But as you hasten to be free
                 And build your commonwealth
                 Do not forget the enemy
                 Who lies within yourself*.

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